by: Jonathan Chandra ‘17
On a misty Saturday morning, representatives from Gordon’s residence halls gathered together on Ferrin field to pit themselves against each other in feats of strength and athleticism. Oct. 22 marked the celebration of the 3rd Annual Highland Games.
The Games, the brainchild of Gordon graduate John Buckley ’15, began in the spring 2015 as a celebration of A.J. Gordon’s Scottish roots. The inspiration draws from traditional strength competitions in the Scottish Highlands.
Individuals representing their halls participated in an array of athletic events, while other members of their hall cheered them on.
“Today I am here to support the Village [the Road Halls], all the people within it and their radiant little spirits. And as an RA, I want to do my best to make sure that we have the best possible chance at making our mark here at Gordon College through the Highland Games,” said Grace Hall Resident Advisor Megan Hammes ’19.
In honor of the Games, President D. Michael Lindsay and his daughters were seen sporting kilts and tartan skirts. Members of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, who sponsored the Games’ own relay race, also wore traditional Scottish clothing.
This year’s Games, hosted by the Gordon College Student Organization (GCSA) with the aid of the Campus Events Council (CEC), offered free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, apple cider donuts and free-flowing root beer kegs to fuel participants and spectators.
The event was emceed by Evans Resident Director Matt Vaselkiv. When asked how he felt about his first Highland Games, he said, “I loved it. The rain made the field a little more epic. The misty haze over the field just made for a great atmosphere out here today. The Highland Games’ folks were phenomenal.”
This year, the Games offered mini-games in order for students to earn participation points for their hall. GCSA, CEC, The La Vida Center and the Gordon Outdoors club ran stations ranging from marshmallow toasting to three-legged races.
Before the final winner was announced, individual event medals were awarded. Bromley had the highest medal count, winning three events (relay race, braemar stone, open stone), followed by Nyland with two (heavy weight, weight over bar). The single medaling teams were Wilson (lightweight), Ferrin/Drew (caber toss) and Fulton (tug-o-war). Evans won the Berserker award for their team spirit.
Vaselkiv went on to announce the winners. Fulton clinched third place and Nyland received second. Buoyed by three event wins, however, Bromley was crowned winner of the 2016 Highland Games, their first-ever overall win.
When asked how he felt about the Bromley’s win, Bromley team member and open stone medalist Dwayne Nadeau ’18 said,“This was my third year doing it [the Highland Games]. And it was better [than other years] ‘cause I won. Take that, freshman and sophomore-year Dwayne!”
As the rain began to pour, the Bromley team posed for photographs while the rest of the students dispersed. Vaselkiv signaled the end of the Games as he said, “The winning team posing for their championship shot. Dashed dreams as halls walk away. Only one can be crowned champion. We wait 364 days for our next Highland Games!”